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Free Things to Do on a Cruise

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas luxury c...
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Alaskan and Caribbean cruise rates are at a great value this year. The fares include accommodation, meals and on board activities and entertainment, you might have a little left in your pocket.
Those who have never been on a cruise might want to know what activities are available onboard. Many of the activities are free, such as using the pool, visiting the library, game room, or catching live entertainment, such as reggae bands to comedians and magicians. There are also a number of children’s programs that cater to different age groups. Many cruises leave a daily planner, or compass, that can help you map out your day’s activities. Activities vary by ship and cruise line, but you can generally see the following activities:
Many onboard parties are held, which include a Captain’s Welcome party, a Sail Away party, mix and mingles, theme parties, and more. There are also games like scavenger hunts, karaoke nights, and talent and game shows. You can also participant in tournaments of mini-golf, basketball, and even ping-pong.
Some ships have very creative free entertainment. The Princess Cruise Line ships, for example, offer Movies Under the Stars, with a 300 sq. foot screen set up around the pool. During the day, family movies and videos are shown, while at night, the cruise provides blankets and popcorn for you to enjoy. Newer Carnival ships and MSC ships also have these outdoor screens as well.
The Celebrity Solstice features glassblowers from New York’s Corning Museum of Glass giving free glass blowing lessons during their “Hot Glass Show.” On deck with this show is the “Lawn Club” with real grass that you can play bocce, croquet, and putt golf balls for free. The coming Eclipse (2009) and Equinox (2010) will offer the same activities as well.
Those who like to eat will definitely like the Culinary Arts Presentations Center that Holland America has. These cruises feature on-deck chefs offering food demonstrations, and throughout the year, famous guest chefs are featured. These demonstrations occur twice during a normal 7 day cruise, and when it’s done, audience members can sample some of the food cooked. Many other cruise lines offer cooking demonstrations, as well as ice carving and napkin folding among other things.
Royal Caribbean offers rock climbing on many of their ships, and the new ships have free ice-skating shows. Freedom Class ships have the Flow Rider, a surfing simulator that attracts many participants. The wavelike surface of the Flow Rider is perfect for surfers of all levels, and those who just want to watch can take a seat in the surrounding stadium. The Oasis of the Seas, the largest ship in the world, will be offering a Boardwalk and Central Park area with activities for everyone.
You will never run out of things to do on a cruise. Contact one of our agents to help you find the best value for your next vacation.

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Everyone’s A Critic

Unique moments
Image by almeidafe via Flickr

So, I went on vacation this past week. It’s the first full week of vacation I’ve had (taken) since the leave I took for the birth of my son almost 2 1/2 years ago. I think that’s a pretty good stretch.

I enjoyed my time away from the office and took the opportunity to recharge my batteries. Once I had “reset,” I tried to think about what I could do to improve certain things in my life, including this blog.

To be frank, my drive to maintain this has been flaggin as of late, and I have a hard time figuring out why. It’s not the act of writing the posts – I enjoy writing immensely (and the feedback I’ve received is that you enjoy reading it, so at least we’re enjoying ourselves).

No, I think I’m having trouble getting this to find some aim or focus. For while, I spent time trying to talk about tech, Apples and those things that pertained to running my practice, but as I figured out what solutions to implement, I lost the need to write about it. I’m finding that I don’t enjoy this outlet as a form of diary for my practice and it’s practices. And, more importantly, the reason I think I don’t enjoy this blog as a diary is because it means that it’s about me – something that I truly dislike about blogs about people and their lives. (Stay with me as I put this down in writing and think through more clearly in print than I did in my ride back from upstate NY.)

I want this outlet to be about helping, informing, amusing other people. Generally, I gain more satisfaction when I attend to things that are other-centered. And, I’ve deliberately stopped from commenting critically on things because I wanted to keep the spirit of this blog positive. Well, unfortunately, that set-up means one post every week or so, which doesn’t help either of us.

So, an experiment.

Let me know what you think – as always, comments are welcome and encouraged.

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Traveling to The Hawaiian Islands

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

A relaxing Hawaiian vacation does not start until visitors step foot on one of the state’s islands. This is because traveling to the Hawaiian islands is an unavoidable worry that can sometimes be the most stressful part of the trip for people trying to reach their Hawaii vacation rental. Most of Hawaii’s major islands receive major commercial service from the mainland U.S. Honolulu International Airport on Oahu and Kahului International Airport on Maui receive multiple daily frequencies from Los Angeles and San Fransisco amongst a number of other airline hubs on the U.S. mainland, including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Newark. Lihue Airport on Kauai and Kona’s Keahole International Airport on the Big Island also receive regular service to major hubs on the mainland.

International travelers also have many options to flying into Hawaii. Visitors to the Big Island from Japan can take advantage of Japan Airlines’ non-stop flight from Tokyo to Kona while all other international visitors must first arrive into Honolulu or connect via a point on the U.S. mainland. International service into Honolulu is operated from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, Sydney, Auckland, Tahiti, Pago Pago, and Vancouver on a number of quality international airlines. Hawaiian Airlines, based in Honolulu, also operates over 180 flights a day to and from Hawaii as well as within the islands.

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